As a freshman Jalyssa Gorder came into her season jumping 10 feet. She didn’t understand the significance of how rare this was until she got a taste of a little accomplishment finishing 2nd in the division and 4th at state. Watching her teammate Vanessa Bawden, someone who became a role model to her for years to come, win the title that year, she knew exactly where she wanted to be. She started setting goals for herself, knowing she wanted to continue being successful in this sport she found a strong love for. Jalyssa then went on to win her division the next year and finished 2nd in the state as a sophomore. Jalyssa describes that 2nd placing as something that she knew would drive her and motivate her for years to come. As a team Sidney took 3rd place that year.
Jalyssa began setting even more goals for herself knowing she now wanted to finish her high school career a two-time state champion. As a junior, she cleared a personal best height of 11’6” winning both her division and state. She was a little more disappointed with her finish this year as a senior, not hitting that mark but winning again her division and state and becoming a two-time state champion vaulter. Sidney also earned a 2nd place finish as a team.
Jalyssa said that she struggled quite a bit with her events due to the weather and canceled meets this year, wishing they could have had a little more of a season. Due to this struggle, she had some breaking points through out her season but knew she had to look past those if she wanted to be successful at the end of her season. Jalyssa is now looking forward to what is to come. She signed with the University of Montana in February and is excited to vault at the college level. Jalyssa had it narrowed down to University of Montana, University of North Dakota, and Montana State University. She never knew it was going to be such a challenge. “I was hoping to get some sort of a sign telling me where to go, but I never necessarily received that. It was one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make and I just have to believe I made the best decision for me,” Jalyssa stated.
Jalyssa would like to thank her track and field team, especially both her relay teams who created a lot of great memories for her these last four years. She is excited to see the track team excel in the future. She wishes not only the track team good luck, but also the girl vaulters as they continue the Sidney vaulting tradition. As she will be competing in college she knows that she can’t help but to follow them closely. She would also like to thank her friends and family for their amazing support, especially her parents Shane and Lisa, and her grandparents Tod and Susan. It was a great asset to her to have a dad who is a coach himself. Jalyssa says “my dad didn’t need to say much, he just knew exactly what I needed to hear as an athlete and always encouraged me right when I needed it most.” Jalyssa also knows she wouldn’t be anywhere if it wasn’t for her incredible coaches. “I especially can’t thank my vaulting coach Steve Yockim enough. How do you thank someone who has changed the course of your life? He gave me a future in vaulting. And to him and all the Sidney Track and Field coaches, I am proud to be one of your many state champions,” states Gorder.